So many things can go wrong during the birth of a child. Because of the risks involved in labor and delivery, those involved in monitoring mom and baby must be consummate professionals who understand their jobs well and who are able to provide the appropriate level of care. The facility where the birth is taking place should also have policies and protocols to facilitate monitoring of mom and child for complications so prompt action can be taken if there are any signs of problems.
Unfortunately, there are situations where doctors and hospitals fall short. In fact, far too many birth injuries occur, changing the lives of family members forever. When birth injuries happen due to hospital negligence, it is imperative for victims and their families to understand what legal recourse is available. A child may need care for the rest of his or her life due to a birth injury from hospital negligence, and when this is the case, the hospital facility should be held accountable.
Common Birth Injuries Resulting from Hospital Negligence
Birth injuries have many different kinds of causes. Some of the possible ways that a newborn baby could be hurt during the labor and delivery process include:
- Lack of oxygen: If oxygen is cut off from the baby's brain, the child could experience brain damage. Lack of oxygen can happen for a variety of different reasons. One example is when the umbilical cord wraps around the child's neck. Doctors must recognize the child's distress and order an emergency C-section or take other appropriate action if the child is not properly oxygenated.
- Failure to monitor: There should be a fetal heart rate monitor in the labor and delivery room, and regular monitoring of the infant should take place to quickly spot signs of problems. Medical care providers must also take other appropriate steps to monitor mom and baby during delivery to make sure no problems arise that require immediate intervention.
- Aggressive use of vacuum or forceps: The consequences of this can be dramatic. Doctors may try to pull out a baby who is not coming out of his own accord, but if this is not done right, permanent damage can occur. A child could suffer brain damage, damage to the nerves of the arm, among other possible consequences.
These are three of the most common causes of birth injuries. Other birth injuries that can result due to errors made during labor and delivery include Cerebral Palsy, Erb's Palsy (arm paralysis), and Caput succedaneum (swelling of soft tissue near the brain). If your baby is injured during labor and delivery, you should work with an experienced attorney to find out if your doctor played a role in causing the injury to your child.